The sales — any kind of sales — have always fascinated me. But more importantly the BIG sales really, really fascinate me. Boxing Day, New Years, Summer Sales with their big red signs and stickers, luring you to get up at silly o’clock and spend your hard-earned cash.
And what fascinates me the most is why in God’s name would anyone in their right mind want to get up in the middle of the night and queue for a jumper that’s got 50% off? Surely nothing in the world can be that important — can it?! The only thing I’ve ever queued for was Duran Duran tickets in 1985 — outside the Birmingham Odeon at silly o’clock with other die-hard fans; a flask of tea and my Nan. I think I vowed then I’d never do it again…
But people do get up for the big sales and they do it regularly; so, there was only one way to find out the fascination with losing sleep and grabbing a bargain and that was to experience it myself.
I must admit I did plan to go the Next Sale on Boxing Day but when push came to shove, or sales shopping vs. sleep, the sleep on a cold, dark December morning most definitely won. But when the sale came around again just a few weeks ago on a beautiful, light Summer’s morning I really had no excuse. The alarm was set for 5 A.M. and I prepared myself for some serious elbowing and shoving in my quest for the ultimate bargain.
The following morning as I drove through the gorgeous Staffordshire countryside at 5.45 A.M., I marveled at the sunrise; the deer casually grazing on the side of the road and the hot air balloon gracefully drifting up, up and away. Ahh, instantly I felt better for dragging myself out of bed and witnessing the day before the rest of the world. Maybe this is why the serious sales shoppers do what they do….
I arrived at Next just after 6 A.M. and if I’m honest felt a little smug for getting there early; surely, I’d be one of the first there despite the store being open for an hour already. How wrong was I! I’m sure my mouth dropped open when I saw how many cars were already parked and how many shoppers (mainly ladies) were flowing in – and out – of the store.
Entering the store, I was greeted by a way-too-friendly member of staff for the time of day; let’s not forget there is normally only ONE six o’clock in my day, so this jolly chit chat, booming music and a busy store was a completely new experience to me. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, grabbed a basket and headed towards the bright red sales stickers in my quest for the ultimate bargain.
Everywhere I looked were women pulling tops off hangers and holding them up against themselves; shoving feet into sandals and flicking through rail after rail of jeans, shorts and skirts looking for the right size, the right length, the right colour. I wandered around looking for what I wasn’t sure, but an hour later and £130 lighter, I appeared to have bought stuff. Mainly stuff for my soon-to-be-decorated kitchen I hasten to add, but I had bags of heavily reduced goods and I was a happy shopper.
As I sat having a coffee at the in-store Costa, the smug feeling returned. It was only 7:15, I was dressed, up and sale shopping completed — and my elbows and toes were intact. What a perfect way to spend a Saturday!
So, would I do the ‘sales’ experience again? Absolutely!
Would I get up for 5 A.M. in the winter? Not a chance!
>Editors Note: We often post the best from the big sales online. So, don’t want to rise early? We’ll do the work for you!
>READ: 50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR 40S – #29 & #30 JUST AN AVERAGE JO BECOMES A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER
>READ ALL OF JO HOWELL’S 50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR 40S
>READ: TOP 8 PLUS-SIZE CLOTHING FOR ONLINE SHOPPING